In the picture: VisitScotland reveals top images of Argyll and Isles for 2021

This photograph of Islay against an imposing backdrop of craggy cliffs by @theglobefromglasgow was liked 68,114 times when it was shared on VisitScotland’s Instagram account.

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The shimmering clear blue waters of Machir Bay have been ranked as VisitScotland’s most popular social media post of Argyll and Isles in 2021.

The photograph of Islay against an imposing backdrop of craggy rockface by @theglobefromglasgow was liked 68,114 times when it was shared on VisitScotland’s Instagram account, making it the highest performing post of the region last year.

Fingal’s Cave on staffa by @wee_dusty.

The mysterious and striking hexagonal columns of Fingal’s Cave on Staffa was the second most popular image, with more than 57,000 Instagramers liking the photograph by @wee_dusty, showing the narrow entrance to the cave made from volcanic basalt rock.

VisitScotland launched its global marketing campaign Scotland is Calling last year, aimed specifically at overseas visitors who, research suggests, spend longer planning and researching their trips.

VisitScotland regional director David Adams McGilp said: ‘The rich history and vibrancy of Argyll and Isles, and the stunning scenery and sights on offer in the wider area are a fantastic source of inspiration for photographers, and these images have captured some of the many reasons visitors are drawn to the region.

‘VisitScotland’s social media channels have played a significant role in the last two years in continuing to keep Scotland front of mind and offering inspiration to our global audiences.

‘We know there is pent-up demand for travel and we want to ensure that we inspire potential visitors with what Scotland has to offer, and make it their first-choice destination when they can travel.

‘By adopting a regional and geographic approach, we are showcasing the diversity that Scotland has to offer and ensuring that tourism brings benefits to communities right across the country.’

Cathy Craig, chief executive of Argyll & Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC) said: ‘With 6,900 sq km of beautiful landscapes, over 3,700 km of stunning coastline and 23 unique inhabited islands, Argyll and the Isles earns its Scotland’s Adventure Coast title.

Emma Clark, chairperson of Explore Islay and Jura, said: ‘Our team here at Explore Islay and Jura are delighted to have Machir Bay on Islay as noted as one of the most instagramable spots.

‘Our island hosts a range of the most amazing areas that suits everyone and that enables you to capture the perfect picture and create the most magical memories in the process.

‘We can’t wait to share them all with you.’